ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Add your Article

Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- In a phase 3 clinical trial, an experimental immune-based treatment boosted by 20 percent the overall survival of those with tough-to-treat neuroblastoma, which affects mostly children.

The findings are to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting, which starts later this month in Florida.

The trial involved 226 patients newly diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system. Standard treatment includes surgery, aggressive chemotherapy with "stem cell rescue" (where the patient's stem cells are removed before treatment, then returned after chemotherapy to boost blood/immune function) and radiation therapy.

"Even though we treat it with aggressive therapy, high-risk neuroblastoma often returns, and most patients do not survive," Dr. Alice Yu, a professor of hematology/oncology at the University of California, San Diego, and the school's Moores Cancer Center, said in a news release from the society.

The new immune-based treatment -- called chimeric anti-GD2 antibody ch14.18 -- targets a key sugar-and-fat molecule lying on neuroblastoma cells called GD2. Left alone, the molecule inhibits the immune system from attacking the cancer cells. But the new antibody binds to GD2, encouraging such attacks, the researchers explained.

In the new trial, half of the patients received chemotherapy/stem cell rescue plus standard treatment (retinoic acid), as well as the new immunotherapy. The others received standard treatment only.

After two years, the number of participants who had survived without a relapse reached 66 percent in the immunotherapy groups, compared with 46 percent among those who did not get the new treatment. Overall survival after two years reached 86 percent in the immunotherapy cohort and 75 percent among those who got standard treatment.

"It is very exciting to have a new treatment option for this disease," Yu said, "and we hope to make this immunotherapy available to more children with neuroblastoma."

The study is to be presented June 2 at the meeting but was described in a news conference Thursday.

More information

The University of Chicago has more on neuroblastoma in children.



-- E.J. Mundell



SOURCE: American Society of Clinical Oncology, news release, May 14, 2009

Last Updated: May 15, 2009

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